We shared a variety of stories together, Amy and Colin, Susan and me. It was fun to discuss stuff. A few of the stories stand out in my mind. One being the fact that there is a forest near Mt. Fuji (that’s all I know about the locale) where people go to take their own lives. Hikers are known to frequently stumble upon these people in various forms of dead-ness. !! I can’t even imagine. Apparently it was described on a documentary in the UK so I aim to find out more about that when I get home or have regular internet access. That’s just crazy!
Another story that stands out is the one where Amy describes how in the mid-80’s people were hurling themselves into oncoming trains at too-regular intervals so Japan investigated what could be done about it and came up with the idea that soothing sounds could be used as a deterrent. So now the sound of birds can be heard as well as soft tinkling music indicating the end of the escalator, the arrival of a train, and such. The sounds apparently add to the overall well-being of people and hopefully stop them from thoughts of hurling themselves into trains. Plus, they made a law that the families of the person that takes their life in that dramatic fashion be responsible for paying a debt to the city or country. So the shame of that is to act as a deterrent as well. We were surprised to see a JR employee at the edge of the track during rush hour yesterday holding a ladder or something. We wondered if that was to reach down and help someone who happened to step over? If so, then it would seem that this might be a rather frequent thing! Interesting.